When you finally decide to buy a tool box for your truck bed you’ve likely dealt with clutter in the back of your truck for quite some time. Every turn you make you hear everything slide from one side of your truck to the other. Even worse, you worry if your belongings are going to slide under your brake pedal or maybe they will slide under the seat and you’ll never see them again. Now you might be a truck owner who just likes the look of a truck with a truck bed tool box and the diamond plated storage area on the back of your truck. I’ll admit, thinking about how my truck would look if I took my Kobalt® truck bed tool box off sends chills up my spine. Okay, not really, but it looks so much more important.
What you keep in your tool box could have some weight on the type of bed box that you select. There are several styles to consider. The most popular truck bed tool box is the full-width crossover box. This tool box mounts to the bed right by the cab. The door usually hinges up, but there are styles with two doors that hinge towards the center when standing at the side of your truck. These are both very useful when you need most of the space that your truck bed provides since they usually allow about a foot below the tool box for full length materials in tow. Next, tool boxes or chest tool boxes that do not hang over the sides at the cab attach to the front of the bed, but below the edge of the bed. These tool boxes are often chosen when you either want the box to be hidden or more commonly when you like to put a truck cap on the bed. You can still access these truck bed tool boxes very easily from the side, but since they mount a little lower in the bed, you may have trouble reaching the bottom if your truck is very high. These are the most common truck bed tool boxes sold to non-farm and non-commercial truck owners.
There are a couple of popular truck bed tool boxes available for commercial use, or at least they are used primarily for commercial purposes. You can certainly go buy one, but they tend to be more advanced in installation and a bit more expensive. First, side-mount tool boxes can be sold in pairs or individually. They mount to the side of the bed, inside on the wheel well. They are popular commercially because you don’t lose any length in the bed of your truck and even more importantly are very easy to access your tools and supplies. These side-mount tool boxes can be used in conjunction with front-mount tool boxes if you allow room for all the lids to open and access to the handles. This would then maximize your storage space.
The second type of truck bed tool box isn’t usually available in your standard retail store. These truck bed tool centers, as I like to call them, are tool boxes for the handyman or jack-of-all trades. They typically take up most of the bed of the truck and allow for storage behind and in between all of the storage areas. These tool boxes install much like a truck bed cap and can often be level or higher than the top of the cab of the truck. You may have seen these types of truck bed tool boxes on the local telephone company’s service truck or when the electrician came to your house to do some work. Sometimes these large, commercial tool boxes will take the place of your truck bed and for that reason are usually available for install by the manufacturer or distributor.
There are several brands of truck tool boxes available online, in stores, and direct from distributors. Dee-Zee, Better Built, Jobox, Craftsman, Kobalt, Husky, and Knaack are all popular brands. Some of them are made by the same company and just branded by places like Lowe’s and Home Depot. They all are generally made of aluminum or steel and provide built in shelving of some sort. The brands listed above range in quality and durability; two factors you’ll be certain to think about before throwing down $100 for a tool box.
Dee-Zee truck bed tool boxes are one of the most popular choices and it’s likely you’ve seen one pass by you on the road. Dee-Zee offer a wide range of products such as tool chests, side-mount tool boxes, bike racks, and truck bed mats. They truly offer products for the home owner, business owner, farmer, and just the recreational truck owner. Each product Dee-Zee sells comes with detailed installation instructions and are backed by a variety of warranties. They also offer a wide selection of replacement parts just in case you damage something…accidentally.
Better Built tool boxes are often relabeled for local retailers. So you may have a Better Built truck bed tool box without even knowing it. One of their newest products, you’ve likely seen them or even busted a knee on one in the parking lot, is the hitch step. If you aren’t using your receiver hitch, you can easily install this hitch step so you have a lower step instead of your bumper. You’ll then be able to easily get into your truck bed and access its contents without lowering your tailgate. In addition to offering the standard crossover boxes, Better Built offers dog boxes, loading ramps, and ladder racks to complete your most important tool, your truck.
Knaack is a heavy duty company for the heavy duty job. While there products are designed for the jobsite, you can definitely store them in the bed of your truck or mount them to your work trailer so you can transport your tools. You can then leave your trailer on the jobsite and feel secure about your tools without wasting fuel hauling them to lunch.
Crossover tool boxes can range from around $100 to more than $500 or even more. Features will likely effect the cost as well as if you have it installed professionally.
Truck box chests also range in the $100-$500 range, but their installation is usually more flexible. You can even install them on a trailer or flatbed truck if it suits your needs.
Two lid tool boxes again range between $100-$500. They are often keyed alike on both sides but provide a great solution to a two-person team with individual storage areas.
Side mount boxes top out around $400, but are usually purchased two at a time. That’s $800. But they offer the same convenience of two separate storage areas for teammates.
Commercial boxes are usually ordered direct from the distributor so keep in mind any price quoted may not include freight to your warehouse or home. In addition, if you don’t have a loading dock, be certain to request a lift gate truck so they can unload the box for you. If you are having it installed professionally, just be sure you plan for a ride to your other jobsites or bring some work to do while they install the tool box. In some cases, you will need to plan to leave your truck or trailer overnight. Expect to spend anywhere from $1,000 to more than $10,000 for a professionally installed, state of the art tool organizing system for your work truck.
If you need a basic truck tool box, then you can go to your local home center, auto parts store, or even Wal-Mart to get one. They are easy to install and often just need a few self-tapping screws and a couple rubber washers…at least that’s how I install them. Tool centers will often be able to meet your commercial needs. Farming needs are usually met at your neighborhood farm store like Tractor Supply. Commercial needs, as I mentioned above, are usually available via direct freight or at the service center.
If you decide to install a truck tool box on the bed of your truck or in your trailer you certainly need to give security some thought. Obviously, the truck box itself provides some additional security, but it can also attract some attention. Be sure not to leave valuables inside your truck cab visible. Unfortunately, this may not be enough to avoid drawing attention to your truck, so you may need to invest in an vehicle alarm or heavy duty locks on your truck box. The price you pay for your tool box is highly proportionate to the quality of the materials. So, it’s worth a few extra bucks for an upgrade.
Buying or even shopping for a truck bed tool box can be very exciting. Heck, it was fun for me. I was trying to improve my truck. I certainly can’t imagine my truck without a tool box now. I have an extended cab truck and the tool box allows me to keep the backseat clear of clutter…well, somewhat. Whether you need a truck tool box for home, work, or the jobsite I think you’ll easily find the right box for your truck. Be sure to check out the other pages on our site for more detailed product information.